Creating Lively Classrooms: Conversational Strategies for English Language Learners
As today’s classrooms are becoming increasingly diverse, district leaders, school administrators, and teachers must work to meet the needs of all learners. In this webinar, we will address strategies and best practices for supporting your English Language Learners (and really, all learners!).
In this recorded webinar, ThinkCERCA’s Director of Professional Learning & School Design and former Boston Public Schools district leader, Kavita Venkatesh, shares conversational strategies for ensuring student growth along the progression of WIDA levels or other state-specific ELD standards.
Strategies for lively classrooms
Purpose: Use this activity to help students share their responses to a CERCA. Also can be used for Vocabulary or Summarizing.
- Provide the CERCA question and one minute for students to think of their response. Have them use their graphic organizers to help them.
- Have students turn to a partner and have Partner One share for 60 seconds. Provide 30 seconds for Partner Two to ask questions or pose counterarguments. Repeat with Partner Two sharing for 60 seconds with 30 seconds for discussion.
- Bring the group together and have teams report on what was shared. Write responses and note places where students agree and disagree. If possible, create a whole group response to the CERCA question.
Purpose: Use this routine to have students share their response to the CERCA question.
- Put students into small groups and have each group select a timekeeper and facilitator.
- Provide the CERCA question.
- Have students use evidence from the text and what they wrote on their graphic organizers during the discussion.
- Choose a presenter. The presenter shares their claim, reasons, evidence, and reasoning. The other members of the group have one minute to comment. Encourage students to use evidence from the text in their comments.
- The presenter has the last word and shares how the evidence from the others changed or did not change his or her thinking.
- Allow each student to present. Assure students that they can have the same claim as another, but remind them that they may have different evidence or reasons why they think as they do.
- As a whole group, discuss what was shared in the small group. Was there consensus about the answer to the question? Why or why not? Did many people use the same evidence? How did people connect their evidence back to their claims?
Purpose: Use this activity as a precursor to peer editing.
- Arrange chairs in two concentric circles, the inner circle smaller than the outer.
- Provide the CERCA question for students. Have students in the inner circle discuss the question, including stating a claim, citing evidence, and explaining reasons and reasoning. Have students use their graphic organizers in their discussion. Remind students that each person should have an opportunity to share.
- Have students in the outer circle observe the students in the inner circle and note times when they used textual evidence, explained their reasons, or used counterarguments effectively.
- Allow time for each person in the outside circle to stop the discussion to share counterargument or a piece of evidence from the text that has not been mentioned.
- Provide all students a chance to be in the inner and outer circles, though they do not need to have both roles in the same class period.
- Discuss the conversation in the inner circle. Have students note when students were effective arguers. Encourage students to share any alternative points of view, or claims that were not shared in the fishbowl discussion.
Turn and Face
Purpose: Use this routine to discuss the CERCA question. Encourage students to use evidence from the text and their graphic organizers during the discussion.
- Have students find partners or assign partners. Have each pair stand with their backs to one another
- Read a question to students, for example the CERCA question. Give students 60 seconds to think about what they want to say in response.
- Have students turn to look at their partners and invite them to share their claims, reasons and evidence. Give each students 30 seconds to share.
- Then have students turn around and provide 30 seconds for students to come up with a reason why you disagree with the other person’s argument.
- Have students turn and share their reasons.
- Then have students turn around and provide 15 seconds for students to think of a rebuttal to the comment.
- Have students turn and share their rebuttals.
- You may wish to repeat with new partners.